Free Traffic and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What is SEO?
SEO refers to optimization techniques used to make a website more visible to search engines, and more likely your website will appear high in listings of search results. In other words, when you do a Google search on a phrase, and you look straight down the page, you'll see a list of websites with titles and descriptions. Appearing in this list costs nothing. And the higher up in the list your website is listed, the more traffic your website will get.
Unfortunately, having a website that brings in tons of traffic on a very popular keyword phrase, may be very difficult to achieve. And for a relatively new website that only has a few pages, it's even more difficult.
If a page on your website is optimized for a particular keyword phase, it doesn't automatically mean you will get a high ranking and a lot of free traffic. It's not that simple.
The goal of SEO is to effectively "second guess" the search engine algorithms. As a result SEO is somewhat complicated. The whole idea of SEO may even sound underhanded. And some techniques can actually be based on underhanded "tricks". However, search engine algorithms often change, and tricks that aren't associated with improved quality and relevancy of a website will stop working. It can also result in severely penalizing the website as a whole.
The whole idea behind search engine algorithms is to reward websites that are most closely matched to what people are really looking for. And for a reputable business, this is exactly how your website should be built.
Here's How We Go About Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
1. Prove that your website can convert visitors into leads or sales for the core products or services you are selling.
This first step has nothing to do with SEO, yet it is the most important step!
Organic search engine traffic is free. But, SEO takes time and effort to achieve significant results. So why spend the time and effort on SEO where the traffic is directed to website pages that don't turn into sales or leads?
And if you don't have much traffic, how are you going to get sales to prove it works?
The idea is simple, use paid traffic first to prove your website fundamentally works. Once this is established, then implement SEO over time. I'll talk more about paid traffic used for testing, later.
2. Make sure your website is set up so that it helps search engines learn easily about your website.
This has to do with the structure of your overall website, including appropriate use of menus, titles, headers, HTML, meta tags and site maps. When a search engine "bot" takes a look at your site, it limits itself to the amount of data to look at and how much time it will spend. Other technical issues like the use of frames, and java code could also put you at a disadvantage with search engines. Setting things up to help the search engines out, generally helps your website to be more effective for your visitor also.
3. Optimize the existing pages most closely associated with your converting products.
Having search engines easily find out about your site is a necessary pre-requite to achieve high visibility. The real pay off results from knowing precisely what info to make known to search engines so that your website becomes more visible for what you are selling. Naturally, you want to be more visible for search terms that people use to look for products and services that you sell.
Optimizing all existing pages is an obvious first start. However, it is likely that the amount of traffic landing directly on these page would not be great. Particularly, if the website is relatively new and is only a comprised of a few pages. These few pages are generally optimized for the higher volume search phrases for you product.
4. Add related optimized pages that provide more information about your products or services.
Providing more relevant information on your website and talking more directly to different segments of customers, for example, will bring good organic traffic to each of these new page.
Three things start to combine, resulting in a total that exceeds the sum of its parts. Here's how it works.
- Your primary core pages bring in some traffic.
- The addition of more narrowly targeted pages, brings in its own traffic
- The combination of these pages enhance the effectiveness of the core pages, resulting in more traffic finding those core pages directly.
All the pages are designed to work together, as the search engines become more "friendly".
5. Establish links from other websites to key pages.
As part of the search engines algorithms, your pages rank partly by how many links from other websites point to various pages on your website. It also depends on the credibility of the websites that point to yours. A very highly ranked website that points to your page, and sends visitors to your site, helps your ranking. It's like a vote, but all votes are not equal.
Other factors that help your website's overall ranking include how long visitors stay on various pages and how many pages they visit. But since the goal is to get visitors to buy your products or services, you would expect visitors to take some time on your site and visit various pages.
So, once your website becomes effective in converting visitors to leads or sales, it gets easier for SEO to happen. That's another reason why proving your website can convert visitors to sales or leads, should happen first.